Intel Core i5 760 Review

Intel Core i5 760 Review

Jan 12, 2011

If you’re looking to upgrade to an affordable, good price for performance ratio processor, the Intel Core i5 760 Quad Core is most likely the right choice for you.  It is both a chip for enthusiasts, as well as mainstream users that need more power cranked out of their machines.  Not only is this processor a multitasking champion, but it also retails under $200.  On top of the great cost of the processors itself, socket 1156 has motherboards starting as low as $70.  With its 2.8Ghz stock speed and 8mb of L3 cache, its hard to see why anyone on a budget would pass this chip up.  My experience with this chip has been extraordinary up to this point, both from an enthusiast and a budget gamer standpoint.  Let’s start from scratch.

Unboxing the Intel Core i5 760:


Intel never fails to package their processors well. Sleek box design and eye catching logo will always be Intel’s strong point of catching the buyers eye. Opening up the box we find the standard Intel heatsink, which has been shrunk over the past few years with the introduction of 45nm and 32nm processors.  I suggest you never use this heatsink for overclocking, since it does a mediocre job of keeping it cool under load.  Moving on we also have an Intel users manual, as well as the Core i5 sticker that you can put on your case or wherever you desire.

Performance On Stock Speeds:

I was not able to test much on stock speeds but with Intel Turbo Boost technology overclocking the processor up to 3.33ghz the processor was still screaming. Boot time to windows was under a minute and multitasking (running AVG Scans, iTunes, Google Chrome, installing games, and Windows Update) was perfectly smooth with no hiccups.  For those who are not familiar with Intel Turbo Boost, it is an “on the go” overclocking program made by Intel that overclocks the processor when needed i.e. under high stress such as gaming or encoding.  The initial installation of Windows 7 64bit took under 15 minutes even on a 7200rpm hard drive.  The motherboard and RAM I tested with were the MSI P55-CD53 and Mushkin Blackline PC 10666 4GB DDR3 respectively, and the graphics card was a GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked by EVGA.


This is where the fun really starts.  Depending on your motherboard, you can get really great performance from this chip with a good cooling setup. I easily started out with 3Ghz without even touching voltages, and setting my DRAM multiplier to the lowest setting to avoid BSOD’s. Further into my overclock, I started reaching great speeds like 3.4Ghz, 3.5, and even 3.9! It got to the point where I didn’t want to fry my motherboard, because this chip was still at a cool 58 Celcius on load.  Well, temptation won and I overclocked it to 4.1Ghz.  Yes, that is correct.  A 2.8ghz Chip for under $200 is running at 4.1Ghz without any hiccups on a $100 entry level motherboard.  The performance with this chip on 4.1Ghz is amazing.  Processor and multi-thread games run flawlessly, multitasking is a breeze, and the time in between loading programs doesn’t even allow me to grab a quick snack.


The Intel Core i5 760 is a great processor for the money.  You cannot go wrong with this chip no matter what you plan on doing.  The overclocking capabilities as well as performance on stock speeds is really great, especially if you pair it up with good DDR3 RAM (I used Mushkin Blackline DDR3 10666 RAM) and a decent motherboard.  Featuring the 45nm technology, the chip stays relatively cool.  However I must warn again that if you plan on overclocking, a new heatsink is a MUST.  There is no buyers remorse when it comes to Intel and its i5 platform, and it is a great stepping stone for those upgrading from socket 775 and waiting for the new sockets arriving later this year (Socket 2011).  Stay posted for reviews of the motherboard we used as well as other great hardware reviews and all your PC related headlines!